Machine learning tech key to new Nokia, Netcracker launches

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Nokia and Netcracker have leaned heavily on machine learning technology in new offerings launched to coincide with the TM Forum’s annual event, which is getting underway in France.

Finland-based Nokia has unveiled two new products, including a new Autonomous Customer Care solution that features a mix of interactive "care bots" with natural language processing and machine learning capabilities.

Nokia said the solution, which will launch in Q3, has the ability to predict and solve issues before customers notice. It can talk to digital assistants such as Apple's

Siri, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana and Facebook Messenger to troubleshoot customer problems.

Mark Mortensen, Research Director & BSS Practice Leader at Analysys Mason, said: "As CSPs move forward in their journey to become DSPs, they need to provide an enhanced, digitalised user experience to consumers and businesses. These users are demanding intelligent, personalised self-service from CSPs.

"Solutions such as Nokia's Autonomous Customer Care have the potential to handle a substantial volume of incoming customer calls as well as increase self-service access to a wide range of options. Key to this self-service revolution is machine learning coupled with natural language user interfaces."

The vendor’s Cognitive Analytics for Crowd Insight also uses machine learning algorithms to give operators real-time network data, rather than GPS or application-based information.

Nokia said the solution, which will also launch in the third quarter of 2017, can potentially help operators to further monetise their data, such as offering retailers detailed footfall maps, or inform advertisers where best to place a billboard.

Bhaskar Gorti, President of Applications & Analytics at Nokia, said: "As the next step in our strategy to build a standalone software organization at scale, we are making major investments in our software and service capabilities that will help customers build strong digital businesses. We want to eliminate the need for customer service calls by avoiding issues in the first place. We also want to give service providers the ability to better understand and contextualize consumer needs."

Meanwhile, Netcracker unveiled its latest suite of products designed to enable virtual and cloud infrastructure at scale.

The vendor’s new Netcracker 12 platform includes artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies as part of analytics modules that can be applied to internal and external operations.

A range of new virtual network functions have also been unveiled, alongside a “comprehensive” API ecosystem.

The product is designed to help respond to customers' increasing dynamic demands for new kinds of services, Netcracker said, as well enable enterprises' shift into more SaaS-based offerings.

Sanjay Mewada, Chief Strategy Officer at Netcracker, said: "Netcracker 12 provides that foundational platform with which service providers can compete successfully in the B2C market, rapidly move up the B2B value chain and migrate to a cloud and virtualised infrastructure seamlessly, profiting from the savings and higher RoI of cloud economics."